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Rodents Come “Home To Roost” In The Winter

People are not the only ones concerned with keeping warm this winter. Unfortunately as the temperature drops outside a lot of disease carrying mice and rats try to enter our home, quickly becoming unwelcome holiday house guests.

Rodents aren’t just unpleasant holiday visitors — they also spread disease and can cause serious damage to your home. Mice and rats spread salmonella bacteria and hantavirus, and they can carry other disease-causing pests, such as ticks, fleas and lice. Rodents also like to chew through wood and electrical wires and are responsible for numerous house fires each year. And once they are in your home, the danger and issues can multiply quickly as a female mouse can have as many as 12 babies every three weeks!

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), rodents invade about 21 million homes each winter. In fact, 24 percent of homeowners report mice and rat infestations during the winter months.

It’s much easier to prevent a rodent infestation than to remove them after they’ve turned your home into their new abode. The NPMA provides the following tips to keep mice and rodents out of your home:

  • Secure your home. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent mice and rats from using easy entry ways. Pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Don’t build rodent attractions near your home. Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five feet off the ground. Keep shrubberies cut back from the house.
  • Make sure your home isn’t rodent-friendly. Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep areas clear, and store boxes off of the floor. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Keep food in rodent-proof containers.

If you suspect you have an infestation schedule an appointment today by contacting us at 800-457-3785. Triple S provide a variety of Pest Control Services and Pest Control Management programs to help with mice, rats and other pests.

Stink Bugs, Really Stink!

Where Did Stink Bugs Come From?

Stink bugs are native to Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea and were first discovered in the United States in eastern Pennsylvania in 1998.  Since then, the stink bug has migrated to other states such as California, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.

In recent years, there have been reported sightings in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

How has this pest spread so rapidly?

Due to its penchant for hiding in sheltered locations to pass the winter, this pest often invades recreational vehicles and campers. One vacationer reported driving hundreds of miles away from a home in Pennsylvania, opening the camper, and unwittingly releasing BMSB in a new location.

Adult stink bugs are most active from spring as they emerge from their overwintering spots to late fall, seeking shelter from the cold. In many cases, their shelter is also our shelter and homeowners begin to see these pests hanging on curtains, lampshades, screens and other objects inside homes.

During warm months, female stink bugs attach large masses of eggs to the underside of leaves and stems. After hatching, the wingless nymphs go through five immature stages before becoming full-sized, winged adults.

What Is That Smell?

When handled or disturbed, stink bugs are able to secrete a bad-smelling, bad-tasting fluid from pores on the sides of their bodies. This secretion protects stink bugs from predators.

The reason stink bugs end up in our homes is because they are looking for a spot that will keep them safe from harsh winter elements such as rain and snow. Some you see, but many more will manage to hide in attics, basements or other parts of the house.

If you suspect you have an infestation schedule an appointment today by contacting us at 800-457-3785. Triple S provide a variety of Pest Control Services and Pest Control Management programs to help with stink bugs and other pests.

Acknowledgments: Thank you Pest World for providing information for this article.

Cold Weather Draws Cockroaches Indoors, Increasing Risk for Allergens & Asthma Attacks

Most of us think of allergy and asthma triggers coming only from pollen, dust, animal dander, etc. However, The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns that cockroaches can also pose a threat to those suffering from allergies and asthma. The saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies of cockroaches contain allergen proteins known to trigger allergies and increase the severity of asthma symptoms.

Children are especially at risk for suffering allergic and asthmatic reactions to cockroach infestations. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reports that one in five children in the U.S. have severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens. Even worse, cockroaches spread 33 different bacteria’s including E coli and salmonella, 6 parasitic worms and more than 7 other types of human pathogens.

Cockroach allergens are elevated in the winter because cockroaches invade homes in search of warmth as families spend more time indoors. The NPMA encourages homeowners to take preventative measures to prevent cockroach infestations and to help keep their families healthy

“To help prevent infestations, we recommend that homeowners seal cracks around the outside of their home, vacuum frequently and keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs that can attract the pests,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Extra attention should be paid to kitchens and bathrooms – especially under appliances and sinks – as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations due to the presence of food products and moisture in plumbing fixtures.”

If you suspect you have an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional who will be able to recommend a course of treatment. To learn more about cockroaches and the health threats they pose or to schedule an appointment with a pest management professional, contact us today at 800-457-3785.

Fall Weather Could Bring Pests Into Your Home

As fall approaches, the declining temperatures can drive outdoor pests to seek warmer temperatures in your home. Without taking the proper preventative measures, homeowners may start to see an increase in termites, ants, beetles, and other biting & potentially dangerous bugs.

Just as you take steps to prepare your home and yard for the winter, consider adding a few tasks to help protect your home and avoid inviting insects indoors.

  • Seal Openings around windows, the foundation and doors.
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts. Leaves and other debris can provide homes for insects.
  • Ensure downspouts direct rain-water away from your home.
  • Remove firewood and other items near the house, including rock or compost piles, old boards or bricks.
  • Push mulch back and remove leaves so they are not resting against the house.
  • Store trash cans away from your home. Trash offers a food source to insects and other animals. Keep trash lids closed at all times.
  • Trim bushes so they’re not directly touching the foundation and cut tree limbs that overhang gutters or roof lines.

Creating a pest control barrier in and around your home will prevent outdoor pests from becoming indoor pests!

Contact us today at 800-457-3785  for a complete inside and outside inspection and treatment to ensure your family is safe and pest free.

Ants That Won’t Go Away

Pest Control Services

Do have ants inside your house and cannot get rid of them?  Have you purchased spray and baits, placed them all around your home, but they haven’t made any difference?

The ants you are seeing almost certainly have a nest somewhere in or outside your house, and unless you are a trained professional you may never find the colony (the source of your problem). The baits and sprays you buy at a store can actually kill them too quickly, not take care of the problem for good, and could actually harm your family if not applied properly. Triple S’ Pest Exterminators are certified technicians who use specialized baits, gels and dusts not available to the general public that are environmentally safe and will get rid of your ant problem without putting you, your family, your pets or the environment at risk.

Ants are one of the most common of all household pests and can be frustrating to deal with. Our experts will:

  • Determine the type of Ant
  • Locate the nest
  • Apply an insecticide to the nest
  • Place ant bait traps and gel indoors

Ants, can be tricky and at times, one treatment will not eradicate the problem. There could be several colonies or they simply relocated elsewhere in the house — turning up in the pantry, bathrooms, and even crawling upside down on the ceilings.

For instance, some ants will nest almost anywhere, not just outdoors but also in the cavities of your home. The nest itself can also be highly mobile and just trying to spray them could allow the colony to pick up and move elsewhere in the house.

When it comes to treating an ant infestation in your home, it’s best to call Triple S sooner rather than later.  In the long run you’ll actually save money by not having to spend a lot of time and money on initially trying to take care of the problem yourself. Plus you have the piece of mind know a professional has safely applied the pesticides keeping your family safe.

For the best pest control Northern VA has to offer give us a call today. (703) 368-8000 | (800) 457-3785

Tips To Prevent Termites

Termites are one of the biggest contributors to home destruction, costing a staggering $1 billion in damages each year. One of the few insect colonies to eat continuously, a typical single termite colony can completely consume 2.3 linear feet of 2×4 pine in a single year. If that does not sound like much to you, consider the seriousness of the situation if that 2×4 was also one of the supporting beams of your house. Keep in mind also that where there is one termite colony there are usually others, clustered together in pursuit of food. Suddenly, that 2.3 linear feet seems significant, and it is, especially when it is multiplied four or five times.

Preventing termites from invading your property can be difficult. However, you can help reduce your chance of getting them by keeping stored firewood away from your home. Reduce the amount of mulch placed near your home. If you decide to use mulch, limit it to 2 to 3 inches in depth and keep it as far away from your home as possible. Mulch should never touch wood siding, door frames or window frames.

Also, identify and fix all water leaks in your home, both internal and external. Make sure your home is properly ventilated, including your attic and internal crawl space areas. Adequate airflow prevents the buildup of moisture needed by termite colonies. Termites need water, and it does not matter where they get it. If the water source comes from your home, all the better for the colony; it means they do not have to work as hard. Eliminating their water source removes one of their requirements for survival.

Have your home inspected for termite damage at least once a year. A once-a-year inspection from Triple S can save your home with early detection. If termites are not found, our trained pest control specialists can at least offer recommendations to help you prevent an invasion. They may catch something you missed.

If you see signs of termite activity or mulch that looks like insects have eaten it, contact Triple S immediately 800-457-3785.